View Full Version : Robert W. Smith in J.A.M.A. about Xingyiquan

03-06-2001, 11:07 PM
New issue of JAMA has Robert Smith discussing the Xingyi and Bagua he learned from Hong Yisheng, Zhang Junfeng, Wang Shujin, as well as a lot about Zheng Manjing's Taiji. He has a lot of insights, he caught those guys at an interesting time in history, before most of our teachers learned, in the late 1950's.

One interesting part concerns xingyi. He says: "Xingyi only attacks after countering a strike."

further- "Its countering cross-arm must unbalance or control the opponent before the other fist or foot can be used with maximum momentum and intent going forward."

further- "Xingyi doesn't spot punch - that is, to strike without controlling the opponent. Instead it reponds with a crossing arm that blunts, deflects and seizes the attackers strike first."

Rather than spot punching he recommends that the xingyi fighter grab his foe, offbalance him and then strike full force.

How does this relate to others with Xingyi experience or your teacher's experience?

Although I have not heard this said explicitly, it seems a common theme in Baguazhang applications to grasp, twist, strike and then throw.


03-07-2001, 01:52 AM
Pardon my ignornance, but what magazine is J.A.M.A.? I'd like to pick it up.

03-07-2001, 02:06 AM
Hi David-

JAMA is the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, the one professional looking scholarly magazine about MA in english. The only problem is the large amounts of articles on karate, tkd, etc....

www.goviamedia.com (http://www.goviamedia.com)

They did an article about Hong Yisheng by Marcus Brinkman a year or two back, really good you would love it. They have also been doing a number of interviews with Robert W. mostly on the topic of Taiji, but hes always good to hear from.

I think i will post this question over at your spot because I wonder what those folks think.


03-07-2001, 02:06 AM

Journal of Asian Martial Arts

Serious journal. ;)

03-07-2001, 02:28 AM
Have you had a look at the new issue? BTW, what CMA do you practice?


03-07-2001, 03:04 AM

I have not received the current issue yet but I have had a subscription since the journal came out.

The former editor/owner, Michael Demarco, is a really good guy and I have worked with him on two articles published in the past.

My primary focus is on chen taijiquan (lao jia combined with xiao jia)/Yang's taiji, baji/pigua, and Yin Fu style bagua ala Liu Yun Qiao.

I have been around so much mantis and have a pretty good understanding of it but could never get its flavor. I spend a little time on liuhe duan tui and some single movements from Liuhe tanglangquan but most of my training time is in xiao baji/da qiang and 8 mother palms + auxillary conditioning exercises.

How about yo

03-07-2001, 03:08 AM
Cool..thanks guys...I've never seen this, and my book collection is pretty extensive. I may pick it up.


03-07-2001, 06:55 PM
I like to practice Baguazhang. My teacher is Bernard Langan here in Berkeley. I've also been lucky enough to practice a little bit of Lo De Xiu's Gao style baguazhang. So thats what I'm focused on at the moment. I am going to be visiting Akron in April, and I was wondering if I could come visit the school that you practice at. Are a student of Tony Yang?


03-07-2001, 08:58 PM

Yes, I am Tony Yang's student. I have been with him for along time, however, he really only started teaching baji/bagua publicly after 1992 upon returning from GM Liu's funeral.

You are more than welcome to come and visit.

Wu Tang Center for Martial Arts
1063 S. Arlington
Akron, Ohio 44306

See you in April.

03-07-2001, 09:15 PM
Alright, RAF, thanks, I really look forward to seeing your schools bagua method. The Yin Fu style I've seen before was impressive, and very demanding training.
Also- hope you have a comment on RW Smith's article when you have a look at it.


03-11-2001, 08:44 PM
I still have not got my subscription but I stopped over in our Border's bookstore and took a quick glance.

Smith is a decent guy and I have enjoyed his writings in the JAMA, however, I think he is way off the mark regarding his comments on fa-jing. Based on what he said about Ben Lo's training, Zhang Man-Ching probably left a lot out of their training out. I also know that Zhang Man-Ching had spear training and dian xue (according to Smith's own writings). You don't reach that level simply playing forms and pushing hands.

I often wonder how much Smith could have absorbed only spending 3 years in Taiwan. Nonetheless, its good to hear a different point of view

03-28-2001, 04:37 PM
I really thought it was a waste of good time when i went to the book store to read this, I didnt get that much useful martial arts information but a lot of philosophical quotes of robert smith. I really wanted to get some kind of martial arts info but found the article to be a bunch of rambling that went absouletly no where.

i dont know why people are fascinated with robert smith, they are just old school when cheng man ching was the only tai chi person. basically all cheng players are like if it doesnt look like cheng man ching style its not tai chi. he compaed cheng as a figure more popular than Yang Chen fu.